Author Archives: Belinda Darcey

How does copyright work in space?

A fascinating article in the Economist this week that explores the copyright issues raised by Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield’s rendition of David Bowie‘s “Space Oddity.” Commander Hadfield, recently returned to earth from his stint aboard the International Space Station, was already something of a celebrity in Canada, with an active Twitter feed and a fanbase of close to a million Followers.  He is now an international—make that intergalactic—celebrity.

The video went viral, currently at 16 million views, and could have resulted in years of litigation. Wisely, they negotiated with the music rights’ holders and secured permission in advance.

The world (and presumably Mr Bowie) is the richer for it.

Target’s radical new integrated "shoppable film."

You know how people have been talking for years about the idea of being able to watch a TV show and click on items you see that you want to buy? Well, Target finally did it, and in so doing have introduced a radical new ad format.

For the Fall 2012 campaign, Target commissioned a 12 minute rom-com from MadMen director Phil Abraham, starring actress Kristen Bell, and aired it in four 3 minute episodes. Nothing new there. We’ve been seeing sponsored content with product placement for years.

screenshot of Falling For YouHowever, this time it’s different. This time, the products in the story scroll by on the right side of the screen as the movie plays. You can click a product and it will save it for viewing after the show. You really have to see it to understand the experience:

In addition, the show plays exclusively on Not YouTube. Not a TV channel. Not in a news channel feed. This gives Target total control over the data that website visitors provide, not to mention the ability to capture an instant friction-free sale.

Target Red Carpet PartyThe final episode was a live “style event” party in New York (you can still view the recorded version) that included simulated red carpet interviews with the cast & crew, plus sundry celebs (Anna Kendrick, Rose Byrne) all raving about Target.

Target TV ad screenshot

Then came the unveiling of the Fall campaign’s TV spot on a huge cinema-style screen, followed by a live cirque-du-soleil inspired performance featuring drummers and aerialists wearing Target clothes and bouncing off a variety of Target’s home décor items. Lest we forget social media, the web audience was encouraged to join in the fun via Twitter.

In short, they managed to integrate TV entertainment, web, social media, live entertainment, celebrity spotting and e-commerce. It remains to be seen how profitable it was, but there’s no denying that it’s a powerful new format.

Music Rights: How To Avoid Being Sued "For The Longest Time."

Music rights (like all rights) are a dicey area these days, and we often get asked about them as we delve into other digital integrated talent-related rights questions. Take this cute video For The Longest Time (The Coral Triangle Version), a riff on Billy Joel’s song, “For The Longest Time,” by four female grad students that (literally) sings about the joys of science. It’s a great example of the type of video that now goes viral, (it’s already been picked up by BoingBoing) thanks to its authentic “real feel.” It’s a charming home-made effort whose sole goal appears to be glorifying the pursuit of science in order to save the world. God love ’em and may they be funded for the longest time.

So, who could have a problem with that?

Well… technically it’s copyright infringementand they could be sued “for the longest time.” (For this very reason, YouTube has integrated a warning about copyright infringement that is part of the upload sequence: ) Yes, they changed the lyrics, thereby creating a derivative version, but that can often land you in more hot water than simply using the original track as is. Same thing with “borrowing” just a few bars versus the whole song.

Fortunately for them, Billy Joel has given it his blessing on his blog, This is generous of him, although not surprising, given his history of conservation ethics. It’s also a wise PR move: in reality, any legal action would likely be dismissed as their intentions were clearly educational and non-commercial /non-profit.

An ad campaign, on the other hand, would not.

So, if you’re thinking of using any part of a song—instrumental only, lyrics only, anything that could reasonably recall the original copyrighted version—please call us as soon as possible so that we can put you in touch with one of our trusted partners who can help you secure permission and negotiate a reasonable licensing fee. The sooner in your process that you do this, the cheaper and easier it will be for you. Chloé can operate as the supervising repository that connects and manages all the various rights making sure they are aligned for a smooth integrated campaign rollout.

Integrated ads: how & why they work

Did you watch the Oscars? Or the Superbowl? Then you probably experienced the new integrated advertising phenomena without even realizing it.

Do you remember seeing someone in the room with a mobile phone or tablet, accessing an alternative backstage view, or checking stats or the IMDB database? Or maybe you were sharing the event long-distance via Skype or a Google Hangout? Welcome to the new world of integrated media consumption, aka multi-screen consumption.

Think about the combined impact of seeing the Oscars or Superbowl logo across all these screens. Those logos instantly tell you that you’ve found the “official” app for the event, regardless of device, right? You relax, knowing you have the right channel. At the same time, you’re being exposed to that logo over and over again, so the impact is much greater than that of a single channel.

Now think about the similar effect for a brand that chooses to sponsor an event and/or advertise across multiple media channels. They get the same effect. Affiliation and association with the event is stronger. When the ad content is contextual (i.e. is made specifically for the Oscars, references the Superbowl), the brand recognition, engagement and recall goes through the roof.

In a recent article, ESPN warns that, to be successful, “you have to have a lot of different creative. It could be the same theme, but if sports fans—particularly sports fans that are in the moment—see an ad two or three times, they are done with it. We encourage advertisers to have seven or eight different pieces of mobile creative. You should have 15 or 20 different digital pieces. When you’re creating content for video commercials, don’t shoot the 30s—think in terms of 10s, 15s, 30s, in long form, and see what you can do with that.” In other words, the audience tunes out.

The key to success with integrated advertising lies in a brand being willing to provide consumers a variety of content that falls within a consistent campaign and that extends the storyline. When a viewer encounters this kind of orchestrated effort, no matter which channel s/he turns to, the impact is exponentially greater. That’s why they work.

The Lure of the Multi-Agency Deal

The Unagency. That’s what one group is calling it. You know it as the multi-agency deal, and it’s become the new norm. Why?

Marketers see the multi-agency deal as a way to maximize the special talents of a group of agencies, without paying for the services they don’t need or use: digital services from the best digital shop they can find, event planning from a shop that focuses on events, design work from a brand identity shop, conceptual work from a traditional ad campaign shop. In 2011, that mix often includes newer, smaller, more nimble independent shops. They have the advantage of being hungrier and cheaper, by comparison to the mega ad agencies. This is heady stuff for marketers who have grown tired of dealing with the old agency bureaucracy, cost consultants, etc. So, what’s the downside?

Well… someone needs to coordinate all that inter-agency communication. Otherwise you get duplication, mis-matched assets, and missing elements. Worse, there’s no-one to turn to when disaster strikes, because no single agency is responsible, right? So what happens next? It spins apart into an unholy financial mess with a dollop of legal woes to top it off. Any profit you may have made with this amazing campaign is quickly eaten up by legal costs and unforeseen production errors. This you do not need. Especially since it can be avoided.

In response, many marketers attempt to handle the communication themselves, with mixed results. This is to be expected: you cannot run an ad campaign the same way you run a manufacturing empire: the language, culture and laws are different. Sooner or later, you’re gonna need help, and the more experienced the better.

In the past, we’ve acted as the central hub for talent issues for our clients, ensuring that contracts and payroll for both union and overscale (celebrity) talent are uniform across agencies, across all media, and around the world. In essence, we’ve been the glue, the central hub for talent issues for all parties involved in a multi-agency deal. We’ve protected many a client from unnecessary costs and production delays. That’s great, but that still leaves many areas of the multi-agency communication unprotected.

So we’ve decided to expand our offerings. We’re opening up our trove of resources, and in February 2012, will begin listing our recommended partners on our website for easier access 24/7/365. We’re creating a network of expertise that you can turn to whenever you’re feeling out of your depth and in need of an expert’s help. Feel free to contact them directly, or call us first for more information.

Tech stars: Geeks are the new celebrities

It’s official: geeks are the new class of celebrities. They now rank as high in status as athletes and moviestars as brand spokespersons.

While Baby boomers may find this switch in status hard to believe, Millennials have embraced it without question. For this younger generation, a film titled, “Revenge of the Nerds” simply wouldn’t make sense. The Nerds won years ago. They are no longer underdogs, deserving of pity. These days, “Revenge of the Baristas” would be more believable.

Millennials view tech geeks as the inventors responsible for the many cool gadgets, games and social software that they use every day. Who wouldn’t want to grow up to be the creator of The Next Cool Thing?

At a more subliminal level, the generation raised on Harry Potter sees tech geeks as modern-day wizards. Rich wizards, at that. “Forget medicine, Dad, I wanna study computer science.”

GAP was one of the first brands to pick up on this trend and feature the likes of Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, the founders of Foursquare in their Fall 2010 ad campaign. [Full disclosure: GAP is a long-time client]. A recent Mercedes Benz ad featuring Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Social Business at Google (the man behind Google+) has proven to be phenomenally successful. Watch for other brands to follow this trend in 2012.

Desperately seeking top (women-owned) suppliers?

This week, an article in Adweek reports that advertisers (specifically Procter & Gamble) are increasing the pressure on ad agencies to raise the number of diversity suppliers. P & G is “urging its shops to help the company meet its goal of spending 16 percent of its U.S. marketing dollars on minority- and women-owned suppliers in its current fiscal year, which ends June 30. While P&G and others achieve a portion of their goals directly via the hiring of minority-owned agencies, they also rely considerably on general-market shops to help them when outsourcing specialty services, such as those related to the production of ads. Examples range from the hiring of casting companies and photo retouching firms to those that provide focus group research.” And why not Chloé Productions for talent business affairs and digital and celebrity negotiations? Oh and yes we just happen to be officially certified by the WBENC as a Women’s Business Enterprise, qualifying us to be one of your official minority vendors.

Now, obviously no one (smart) hires a supplier simply to satisfy a quota. But what a fabulous perk it is when a top supplier just happens to also fulfill your need for diversity? Help us help you look good.